Why are Arsenal so injury hit? Training methods to blame?

Diaby sick bay

This post is in response to the following article on http://www.goal.com:

http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2896/premier-league/2010/12/10/2254345/incompetent-premier-league-training-methods-are-ruining

Ok, I work in this field somewhat and have been in it one way or another for a long time directly. Main points:

  • What he is really on about is training volume. How much is right, how to build it up. The methods are good but arguable, as you can train with specificity and still put it together session by session.

However…

  • What he is really on about and mentions but doesn’t go into is **recovery** which is highly individualized. It’s also a very scientific field and one that doesn’t lend itself to clear explanations to lay readers because it mostly says, “everyone recovers differently and the same person recovers after an equally appearing hard effort differently as time goes by in a season” .. Hence, he doesn’t go there, but THAT is what is all about these days in several major sports codes (I work with rugby players).

Here are some details in basic format.

a. Training = Effort PLUS Recovery

Most people, diets, fads focus on the effort and little on the recovery as most average people don’t really need much scientifically (go as you feel)

b. Recovery from effort is different for everyone

c. If you take a very long time to recover from a big effort you won’t have time to have another effort and lift your training. Thus, VOLUME matters and not just the total load but HOW YOU DELIVER IT. At least if you want to get to a total level of fitness

To make matters really “cool” and “interesting” this varies by person as well.

d. Not only that, but as time or a season goes by your ability to recover can degrade. The same effort (big game) takes longer to recover from.

e. The real kicker… there are no good measurements of total recovery. Biochem tests like Lactate tests etc are good at muscle effort, but not so good for counting the pounding, collisions and other factors that play into total muscle and joint fatigue. Equally, we do work with rugby players where we use impact on lungs and the moderate pulmonary edema as one factor of how hard a match it was (or we are trying to anyway, it’s research)

What it says is that the totalload the EFFORT in my simple equation is not just how much you ran but other factors.

f. The second real kicker… different positions have different efforts and fatigue.. This comes from the part where different positions have different profiles of effort. A midfielder may run more than a striker but spends a lot less short, intense efforts followed by pushing on a brick wall like Per.

Different work = Different fatigue = Different recovery

g. Finally, it is not just time for recovery; it’s how you do it. That matters too and can help or hinder. It will be conflicted by:

  • different needs of different players and positions
  • need to prepare for next game
  • need to keep starters integrated in practice efforts

All of which run counter to a subject specific approach so you can meet team goals. I would note here that the article writer trained WC squads who don’t have these issues (all ready at once), a short “season” and so on.. That is far easier than a 40 week league + 2 cups + Europe season. Note how those teams outside Europe seem to be “more fit”??

Some side points, there is a huge amount of unproven science out there. The basics he puts forward are good but must also work within the team’s needs to win and have a season long plan. In particular, there often arises what I believe to be the “sport specific fallacy” which indicates that to train effectively one must train the sport.

The sport specific fallacy has one real problem; it is in fact very much true. You do need to train the sport to be good at it. But, I would argue that you do not need to play football entirely to become better at it. The goal is to have high intensity within the sports motions and action for limited periods and recover. So far, it is what was said in the article. However, one should mix that with efforts that focus on the game after being fatigued by prior work. Cyclists do this a great deal with specific power training on the bike, since they simply cannot race at intensity every day. In football, you cannot play at the full intensity too often or you burn out mentally and/or pick up injuries. What he proposes is fine for a pre-season or a world cup but we get our injuries during the season, beginning, middle and end, where it is far harder to manage.

Building blocks that make a whole structure, rather than making whole buildings each time.

The mixture of that and sport specific training in combination with a season is what makes the entire problem hard. Build, over-stress, recover. It is still a simple recipe. Just a very hard one to make with the tools at hand.

Thus, why is Arsenal so injury hit? IMO, speculatively, three factors:

1. INTENSITY: The EPL is more intense, not so much faster (it is), but faster longer. It is also intense in being more physical, more collision and intense in being more competitive top to bottom than other major leagues. BM, RM et al have very few “losable” games in their leagues. Sure they lose some but reality is most teams are far, far weaker. It allows recovery if you have the squad, especially if the games are less intense

2. DEPTH: Thinner squad. We are 18 strong, City are likely 25-30 strong. It has an affect in the environment of #1 above. This will hopefully improve. Witness Tottenham the last few years, great for 80% of a season with minimal or no Europe and then (crash)… For us, tragically less likely this year if they gel.. Note, depth is not just any player because if they really cant contribute at your top level you likely wont play them as much as you should or need to because of the team’s need to win.

3. FOCUS: Arsenal tend to play for all the cups in the last few years. Desperate fans have better squads out for League Cup where ManU plays the local high school squad (longer in the cup), I think. We tend to go for everything full out more so than others. We are thus more consistent than them in going far (out of group stage something like 14 straight years in CL) but pay a price that may hinder us from going all the way given a slight shortness of DEPTH

If you are looking for a fourth one, well, all these three are affected by refereeing and the culture of the game, where it’s a bit rougher in the EPL, at least in my opinion.

So, overall, I don’t disagree entirely with this link, but it is a very complex subject, and, in my opinion, one that is much more about recovery than training; and one that is a big deal for many major international codes. How to recover optimally (fast and well) and how to tell, first up, how long a player needs to recover so they can train best … Very very very hard for that next game without crossing a line and leaving themselves injured or set up for injury. No matter what else gets published in the here and now.

Arsenal injuries: a new or an old phenomenon?

Arsenal injuries: a new or an old phenomenon?

I.e. they wouldn’t pay people like me to keep looking if the answer was already known!

Cheers.

Written by: jgc

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

65 Responses to Why are Arsenal so injury hit? Training methods to blame?

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Very fine post and food for thought, jgc. 🙂

    I will get back to you tomorrow.

  2. Fozzie B says:

    First flesh flute fiddlers!!
    😀

  3. Fozzie B says:

    Dammit totes you got your gold nike sprint clogs on!! 😆 ok reading now 😀

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    But before I go: did Theo have any chance to avoid his injury in yesterday’s game? Would different training methods, kilos of stake meat, whatever else, have prevented him being mowed down from the back? Don’t think so.

    It looks like those players who can run with the ball are targeted all the time. At Arsenal this is Jack, Rosicky and Theo, and it comes as no surprise to me that two out of three came back injured from the internationals…. Referees have a key role to play and especially targeted group fouling should be dealt with far more effectively.

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Yep Fozzie, in a race against the clog, you have no chance whatsoever! hahaha 😛

  6. Dylan says:

    I’m terribly sorry to everyone I didn’t get a chance to respond to last post. School is overwhelming. I will attempt to get on and have conversations as much as possible, mostly over weekends, but my posts will probably be more infrequent. Hopefully as the school year goes on I will be able to have more time. 😉

  7. chike says:

    What the Dutch coach says sounds pretty reasonable. And by now I believe AFC have come to appreciate the situation better. But still a big concern they’ve contrived to weaken the squad even more and expose them to injuries by reducing the numbers even more? Did they absolutely need the get rid of Gevinho? Really find the reduced squad numbers difficult to understand especially as u pointed out that they like to fight for all the competitions.

  8. Fozzie B says:

    Hi Dylan thanks for your upbeat post, it was just the electrode shock to the the Niagra’s that we needed to wake us up from the interlul!! 😀

    Great indepth post my kiwi brethren!! I recognised your handiwork on glics sheep the other day!! After the 3 Welshman, a furry character, (it wasn’t me)Glic, stretch and vickers rolled out of the brand new tranny annex … We saw the sheep!!! Glic had trouble chasing them in his pink high heels but stretch had his turbo zimmer in “freak mode”!!! Haha !! 😆

    It was a tangled mess of lesbanians, trannies, sheep and bk broke back banditos!! But to your credit, recovery was made!! Haha!!
    😆 And we have made it through the next two training sessions ready to wreck havoc on Sunderland!! Chloroform, roofys and lots of revlon lippy to the ready!!
    That’s how we roll muverrezzz!!
    😆

  9. AFC says:

    JGC, I will give my own opinion on why Arsenal are so injury hit. I do not think the problem really lies in training methods, diets (as PG suggested), the intensity of the EPL, thin squad or our players being deliberately targeted by other players .

    The diets that our players are under are made up by the very top dieticians who know exactly what needs to go into the diet of professional football players and are very experienced at making up such diets. Also, there are many football teams in the world and even in the EPL who must use a similar diet to the one which our current players are on.

    The training methods which are used by Arsenal must be very similar (if not the same) as the training methods used by other clubs.

    If we was having this discussion back in the ’90s maybe I could see diets or training methods being part of the reason why we are so injury hit as Wenger was using diets and training methods (from Japan) which no other teams in the EPL were using but not now as most teams are aware of the latest diets and training methods are Sports science has come a long way since the ’90s in all parts of the world.

    United and City both have huge squads but the likes of Richards and Vidic constantly find themselves getting injured. Baines played every minute of every match last season and he seemed to be ok on the injury front as with other players who played a lot last season so I cannot see our squad’s problems with injuries really being down to a thin squad. There are also may other injury- prone players in other leagues around the world so I would not put it down to the intensity of the EPL.

    The sames goes for our players being deliberately targeted. There are plenty of players in our league and around the world who do not suffer injuries after deliberately being targeted.

    Of course all of those factors can cause and/or prevent injuries to players or make players have a shorter or longer recovery time from injuries and can explain the injuries of some of our players but if you look at a lot of our players they are just naturally injury- prone. For example it could be down to the bones in the body (how weak or how strong a particular person’s bones are, how dense the bones are in a person) or other things to do with the body. The physical make-up of someone can affect which sort of injuries they pick-up, how frequent they are etc. No diet(s), training methods, number of matches played can stop some players from getting injured but all these things do are prevent the inevitable (injuries). Sports science cannot find a solution to stop these players getting injured or sometimes even get down to the route of the problem.

    Some players may be able to get the better of their injuries like RVP is now doing at United (which simply cannot be explained and has just happened) and some may never be able to get rid of their injury problems like Owen Hargreaves. No one or nothing could do anything to prevent Hargreaves getting injured. It remains to be seen whether Diaby can overcome his injury problems. God even our GKs are injury-prone.

    We just seem to have/had so many injury-prone players. The likes of Diaby, Wilshere, Gibbs, RVP etc. Every club has these players (City have Richard, United had Hargreaves, we have Diaby) but unfortunately for us we just seem to have and always had a lot of these of players in our squad. So I would blame Wenger, his scouts basically whoever is giving these players contracts at Arsenal, buying these players from other clubs and giving these players the green light in terms of ‘everything being ok’. We signed Diaby knowing he was injury-prone, I think we done the same with RVP and we have now done the same with Sanogo.

    For instance, Jack Wilshere appears to be bow legged. I think that means that when he runs there is uneven stress and wear on certain areas of his legs. He puts extra pressure on his ankles and knees which is why a lot of the injuries which Jack has are related to his ankles and knees. I could be wrong of course and if I am I would like someone to correct me.

    While Diaby has always been injury-prone throughout his career even during his time at France. It was not as if he started getting these injuries at a certain age, or when he moved to the EPL (a more intense league), or when he had a change in his training methods or diets.

    So I would blame Wenger, his scouts, basically whoever is giving these players contracts at Arsenal, buying these players from other clubs and giving them the green light in terms of ‘everything being ok’, the people making these decisions. We signed Diaby knowing he was injury-prone, I think we done the same with RVP and we have now done the same with Sanogo. I would certainly try to avoid players who are injury-prone but maybe Wenger and his guys have thought they would take a chance on some of these guys thinking they will be able to overcome their injuries and it has not quite worked out.

  10. henrychan says:

    Morning all..
    Jgc.. nice try.. hehehe..
    Talking about injure.. every players could be injure.. that’s football..

    Why our players seem (do not have any statistic) injured more..??
    I thiink maybe because :
    First.. PL is harder than other league.. very physical and speed also..
    Second.. We aren’t the kind of club who allow his players to dive.. diving is forbiden.. hehe.. Cazorla almost did it once.. and all the fans reacted negatively.. And that also made some defenders feel unafraid to play hard..
    And the last.. Wenger picked players on their quality not physical.. We know that almost all good players weren’t physicaly great.. hehehe..

  11. Kenny says:

    Messi is small yet is very rarely injured?

  12. weedonald says:

    Excellent and revealing post jgc…..there is also the issue of our team size and physical presence. Our midfield is among the smallest and least physically imposing of the EPL and when compared to Chelsea,Stoke, City and United’s players, we are far faster, more agile and technically superior but NOT capable of physically handling bigger players,aside from Flamini and Arteta. You mention the referees permissive appraoch to rotational fouling and serious fouls directed at our players. This, given sufficient intensity and repetitioncan also account for our very high injury history.

  13. AFC says:

    JGC, I will give my own opinion on why Arsenal are so injury hit. I do not think the problem really lies in training methods, diets (as PG suggested), the intensity of the EPL, thin squad or our players being deliberately targeted by other players.

    The diets that our players are under are made up by the very top dieticians who know exactly what needs to go into the diet of professional football players and are very experienced at making up such diets. Also, there are many football teams in the world and even in the EPL who must use a similar diet to the one which our current players are on.

    The training methods which are used by Arsenal must be very similar (if not the same) as the training methods used by other clubs.

    If we were having this discussion back in the ’90s maybe I could see diets or training methods being part of the reason why we are so injury hit as Wenger was using diets and training methods (from Japan) which no other teams in the EPL were using but not now as most teams are aware of the latest diets and training methods. Sports science has come a long way since the ’90s in all parts of the world so we would not be using training methods or using diets which are totally different and unique to the training methods and diets which are used by other teams in the EPL.

    United and City both have huge squads but the likes of Richards and Vidic constantly find themselves getting injured. While there are players who play a lot (if not nearly all the minutes in the season) and do not suffer from many injuries. Baines played every minute of every match last season yet managed to stay virtually injury free so I cannot see our squad’s problems with injuries really being down to a thin squad and players being over played. There are also many other injury- prone players in other leagues around the world so I would not put it down to the intensity of the EPL.

    The sames goes for our players being deliberately targeted. There are plenty of players in our league and around the world who do not suffer injuries after deliberately being targeted.

    Of course all of those factors can cause and/or prevent injuries to players or make players have a shorter or longer recovery time from injuries and can explain the injuries of some of our players but if you look at a lot of our players they are just naturally injury- prone. For example it could be down to the bones in the body (how weak or how strong a particular person’s bones are, how dense the bones are in a person) or other things to do with the body. The physical make-up of someone can affect which sort of injuries they pick-up, how frequent they are etc. No diet(s), training methods, number of matches played can stop some players from getting injured but all these things do are prevent the inevitable (injuries). Sports science cannot find a solution to stop these players getting injured or sometimes even get down to the route of the problem.

    Some players may be able to get the better of their injuries like RVP is now doing at United (which simply cannot be explained and has just happened) and some may never be able to get rid of their injury problems like Owen Hargreaves. No one or nothing could prevent Hargreaves getting injured. It remains to be seen whether Diaby can overcome his injury problems.

    We just seem to have/had so many injury-prone players. The likes of Diaby, Wilshere, Gibbs, RVP etc. Every club has these players (City have Richards, United (and for a short while City) had Hargreaves and we have Diaby) but unfortunately for us we just seem to have and always had a lot of these of players in our squad.
    For instance, Jack Wilshere appears to be bow legged. I think that means that when he runs there is uneven stress and wear on certain areas of his legs. He puts extra pressure on his ankles and knees which is why a lot of the injuries which Jack has are related to his ankles and knees. I could be wrong of course and if I am I would like someone to correct me.

    While Diaby has always been injury-prone throughout his career even during his time at France. It was not as if he started getting these injuries at a certain age, or when he moved to the EPL (a more intense league), or when he had a change in his training methods or diets.

    If you look through our squad we have more players who are injury-prone in comparison to players who are not injury-prone. That’s not the way it should be. God even our GKs are injury-prone.

    So I would blame Wenger, his scouts, basically whoever is giving these players contracts at Arsenal, buying these players from other clubs and giving them the green light in terms of ‘everything being ok’, basically the people at Arsenal making these decisions. We signed Diaby knowing he was injury-prone, I think we done the same with RVP and we have now done the same with Sanogo who by the way is injured again. We also recently resigned Flamini who missed a lot of games through injury for Milan. I would certainly try to avoid players who are injury-prone but maybe Wenger and his guys have thought they would take a chance on some of these guys thinking they will be able to overcome their injuries and they have not been able to. Wenger and co taking gambles which have not payed off and it seems they have not learnt their lesson yet.

  14. geoffchase says:

    TA

    About Theo, of course not! It’s football..

    What’s annoying about these articles and people is that they will claim that because he was fatigued he couldn’t “take” the hit as well and will miss time. Now in big hits/fouls this is obviously wrong. However, for “small” hits there is some slight truth that your connections are protected by not being fatigued (the muscles around them).

    The problem is that you cannot test this theory. Take Ox’s apparently small hit injury, where it appeared minor on the field at the time and in early season. Some snake oil types will say, see, poor training!

    The problem is you cannot go back, retrain Ox “better” and replay the hit.. So…

    What you can claim is that a few years later you look at the data for Ox, now with new training methods and claim, see, better, they were chumps back then. But, Ox is now also older, more experienced at avoiding hits, stronger from age etc,. Again, BS in my opinion and you can never really get a true comparison scientifically.

    I would bet that if you looked across all the EPL over several years, injuries are flat or falling per player per game (including cups and CL). Likely what we are seeing is far more games and far more games per week…

    So, remember, the next time Glic comes by selling eternal happiness in Lesbania if you only buy/follow his mantra, just ask yourself whether its real science or just him advertising how smart he is!

    More for others later — jgc

  15. geoffchase says:

    Donald

    Good points, I noted thinness if you will as a factor, but your point was something I thought about but didn’t add. Basically, we have a small, agile, finesse midfield if you will take my definition. I do think we have been attacked directly by physical teams to knock them back many times in past. Orcs anyone? 😦

    I think that the EPL reffing which I hinted at is a factor too. They call less of it, or at least don’t hold the game as tightly sometimes. The AV game one this year is a great example from a ref who should be doing Sunday league at best.

    You’re right, Flamini will help there.. Combativeness as much as physical presence too I think.

    Cheers — jgc

  16. geoffchase says:

    Henry

    All agreed… jgc

  17. geoffchase says:

    Chike

    You are rights, it SOUNDS reasonable. And it is. BUT, it is far more complex than that too..

    Squad thinness. Well, yes an issue but you also never know what comes at TW end so..

    Re, Gervinho, well I like that AFC do well by their players. His time here was done, really, except as squad fodder perhaps, and so they sold him where he will be used. Good for him, perhaps more than us, but I think a respectful position by the club. He will be more than a squad player at Roma and thus more than here… One would have hoped he would have appreciated it more, as it is a business and he could be riding pine at the emirates…

    Cheers — jgc

  18. geoffchase says:

    AFC

    Good points. Hmm, my thoughts:

    A. JW likely has orthotics to correct it so it isn’t his bow legged issues. Actually, he’s a smaller but combative player. For him I think he needs to be rotated back to full if tens over a full season .. Ozil should let that happen.. Then he will be fine and come more right. Again, thin squads and expectations don’t help

    B. I am not sure I agree about injury prone but Diaby can’t be argued.. Sigh. I actually think we have no more than at other clubs but lack of rotation and lack of backup, so you notice a lot when someone’s gone, mean we see it more. Again, for me maybe thin squad..

    — always in these things IMO try to see if there is a difference or just if you notice it more with our club

    C. One area where again thinness hasn’t helped and our approach is maybe not as good. We play more top talent, younger than others. Good news, we have it and they succeed, JW, Theo, Cesc, and even RvJ.. But, they suffer injuries… We need depth to rotate them in more gradually

    Those are my first thoughts anyway… I am not a big believer in injury prone as we don’t play too differently than other too clubs and I think the stats would show our injury rate is similar. We just notice it more and suffer more due to thinner squad depth perhaps..

    If we want top squads then that will take 1-2 years and not just January TW to correct I think

    Cheers — jgc

  19. William rogers says:

    The amount of times J W & T W are hacked down its no wonder they are
    injured all the time

  20. Jamesofsouthwales says:

    Good article, I find this topic very intriguing. Arsenals injuries are a problem and I believe it’s the intensity and duration of the same type of training that’s the problem.

    In a openning dissertation i did for my sports science diploma 12 years ago titled The effect of top level competition. I stated (in summary for the perpose of my comment) that sports specific training, i.e. match intensity games and skills/drills training should be included less and less towards the end of a seasonal program and be replaced with more tactical, strength, flexibility and muscle recovery sessions.

    Lets not forget these guys play at the very top of the game. Brushing up on basic skills and playing match intensity games during training is a waste in the middle and final third of the season and increases load on the body. These guys have had a lot of competition and pre season to sharpen up their skills plus being the best in thier field they should be at their highest skill level by the start of the season.

    I suggested that because competition comes more frequent in shorter spaces the more you get into the season, you would reduce or remove high impact training i.e training matches high impact, high intensity sessions. Replacing them with low impact training such as swimming, cycling, tactical and flexibility sessions. By the end of sept a player is playing 3 games in 7 days this happens trough 75% of the season more so from the end of nov through to the beggining of feb.

    The need to do physical fitness training through these months should be reduced dramatically if not completely removed. You would then replace them with the above what I call “soft focus training” some ball work, swimming, cycling, tactical classroom sessions on rest days and flexibility training.

    My dissertation found its way to the rugby coaches desk, after reading asked me to work with him to develop a training plan. Fair play to the guy he went in full blooded, the team had already gone through preseason and started the league. He explained that the Season before they lost 10 players during a period of 12 games and lost 6 of the 12 games, he blaimed fatigue robbing him of the title. So was willing to give this a try using that period onwards as our gauge.

    During that busy period (which increased to 14 games due to poor weather before hand) the coach went in full blooded. We removed all physical hi impact training because the boys were doing enough of it in matches. Replace it with soft focus training and more resting tactical sessions and working on set plays. We came out the other end played 14 won 13 drew 1 lost 0 and most importantly no muscular injuries at all. That season they won the league and cup.

    The boys felt sharper less fatigued and felt they could give more on the field because they felt looser. Like I said the coach went in head first because he saw the really basic sence I was making and it fourtunatly for me payed dividends.

    Top level competition has gone too far in terms of intensity because of the spectators demand for more of it. There has to be a break through the season of any sport for the players sake and the poor enigma of Diaby world class potential but his body won’t let him flourish.

  21. henrychan says:

    Guys.. I believe Walcott will be just fine..
    The Godzilla (Theo-Giroud-Ozil-Cazorlla) will crush The Under Land.. hahahaha..

  22. Gerry says:

    jgc, or if I may,Geoff,(rather than GC?) – It was a great response on first reading, and a bit like Le Flambeau, it has matured with time and a greater airing. Love it.

    We do look at injuries in a very club-centric way, naturally, so we know of(rather than know about?) injuries here. Comparing with other clubs is there made more difficult. Plus, and I think there is a need to separate out the injuries induced by effort and those induced by physical contact .. not entirely remove from the picture, but may spend more time on the ones we have control over?

    If you take say the multiple issues Gibbs has had as an example, I only recall one being inflicted by physical contact? The rest were due to the physical make up of his body, against the physical effort he was putting in, along with the variable, age and his personal maturity that gains muscle strength. Now he has ‘targeted’ his exercises to his ‘weaker’ muscles, he is a good example of how exercising as an individual can help?

    Got to leave it there, taking dog to vets …

  23. geoffchase says:

    James

    you wrote: “I stated (in summary for the perpose of my comment) that sports specific training, i.e. match intensity games and skills/drills training should be included less and less towards the end of a seasonal program and be replaced with more tactical, strength, flexibility and muscle recovery sessions.”

    EXACTLY what I was getting at. Different phases of season and different trajectory of training. Sometimes less is more!

    That said, one factor for Arsenal vs a rugby squad is hte number of games. Thus, one has a squad (ours is thinnish) that one must keep fully fit all year. Thus, some need more intensity as they play less, others need less as they play more and … argh..

    It is trickier than not to do that and maintain team unity and completeness, especially since without some intensty the less played players dont gel at full speed with the more played and are thus less game ready when the time comes..

    THAT is the main difference, I think. For rugby the equivalent is a full season of premier league followed by test committments at national level.

    In NZ it is provincial season, super 15 season, test season. National coaches tear hair trying to keep guys, across club/country divide no less, fit and able.

    I think it gets clear quickly that it aint an easy balance and one easy to get wrong.

    Per my response to AFC, I think our need/desire(?) to use younger super talents a lot has not helped, I think they have to more slowly blend in. with more transfer money etc coming in the next years I hope we develop the squad for that..

    cheers — jgc

  24. geoffchase says:

    I should say it aint easy when you cant easily measure with any accuracy the need for recovery or the ability to train.. jgc

  25. geoffchase says:

    Gerry

    All names work.. 🙂

    You are right that we tend to focus on our injuries and less notice others..

    Regarding Gibbs et al, well, injuries also come and go, but I think plyers also develop more and teams address issues as they become apparent, which he/they has/have done.

    Statistically, over 5 years and the whole league, I bet they are actually going down. Especially if measured in games or minutes lost etc.

    cheers — jgc

  26. Fozzie B says:

    Howdy ho chubby chasers!!
    Enjoying the comments this morning fellas. I agree – “less is more” when it comes to training our lads. Such a long season, frequency of games, thin squad, human weakness have all been mentioned. One thing I’m sure on and that’s arsenal will continue to spend a shed load of $$$$$$ to protect their primary investments . . . The players . They have a great facility and staff. I know Germany has a fine reputation for sports injuries to and the point is our boys will get the post treatment they feel comfortable with or a recommended to try. Indeed poldi and diary are prime examples of players spending rehab time in their home countries.
    AFC- I hear what you are saying that we shouldn’t take on injury prone players in the first place like diaby and sanogo. But personally I think it’s worth the risk. RVJ did work out worth it IMO, it’s just a shame that haggis features got his claws in before le prof had a chace to get his foie gras this year . . . . I wonder what he is thinking now :lol … I digress 😀
    Arsenal players in general are incredibly fit and their fitness levels are one of the reasons Arsenal usually lead the way in late goals scored; other teams often cannot match up to that level of intensity.

    All I can say is the day we have a full squad again will be BOOOINGALICIOUSSS!!
    😀

  27. JamesOfSouthWales says:

    Yeah I saw what you were saying Geoff I was just saying from my experience what ways in which you can keep a thin squad fit so and elaboration of your point

  28. Fozzie B says:

    James great to have you on here and great comment 😀

  29. geoffchase says:

    James and Fozzie,

    James.. No worries, we agree, I was adding more to your more to my post! 🙂 Just to elucidate more examples for those reading along and see what else springs forth…

    Its a really interesting topic… Per Fozzie tho, even less is not ore if it is too much less. The goal is perfect

    For you and Glic this is like finding the perfect Lesbanian, but with a blindfold and not being allowed to touch. It all becomes something of a guessing game!

    cheers — jgc

  30. geoffchase says:

    Kenny

    Even Messi is occasionally injured. That said, if you breath on Messi FIFA will likely ban you for life! 🙂

    More seriously, he’s one of those compact not too slight guys who seem bombproof. Dunno exactly why tho, but have seen several such over the years… That said, most are not Messi! 🙂

    cheers — jgc

  31. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thanks Professor

    I think Fozzie got it spot on, risk and return

    If one takes a peep at Arsenals recent policies in squad development the stand out factors are procurement of youth and buying players that the top boys might not want because of one reason or another, including injury record.

    Youth is always a gamble. There is no track record of injury and players bodies are still developing.

    On procuring players who have a record of injury, this again is weighing up availability with risk.

    Throw in a bit of bad luck, players frames, and the fact we play a very mobile game its not really rocket science is it?

    To look for scapegoats or to partition blame on the coaching, medical staff, or Wenger and the Board is not thought out properly.

  32. Fozzie B says:

    Alas my kiwi brethren JGC, I agree less is not always more for some!! AKA the pie eating Russian, the sheesha smoking Mocha … and perilously at the moment the Carlsberg driving sponsored Dane!!

    Your analogy of me and Glic blindfolded with a perfect Lesbania unable to touch has got my quivering!! I would prefer to be subed at that point for my green Ozil lookalike Kermit who would proceed to fumble with great merriment and ordane Glics Ozil member with what Glic has been craving …… hahaha .. the Green slime ….!!!!

    Thanks Stretch for the agreement … Like you say the Board has thrown all their money into the stadium/facility/staff pot … they have always not hesitated to spend in this area and I think they will probably start spending even more now the austerity measures are pretty much out of the way!

    😀

  33. Gerry says:

    Right, back from the scheduled vet visit, which I so nearly overshot …

    Geoff,
    I was going on to say, that in RVP’s case, I think I read somewhere he went over to a personal fitness coach, and all the horse placenta stuff, which has coincided with his continued sound health? Again, coming down to individuality, but whether that followed through on different/separate training, or just on the pre and post training I have no idea.

    One would have to think, if you are feeling good, on top of your game(cliche), then you may spot the dodgy tackle coming in, and so lessen the severity of the contact injuries. It is noticeable that JW has received a lot more brutality whilst he is not fully fit, although that is hard to judge, as he seems to be constantly played before he ever reaches a peak of fitness?

    If we trust the better quality academy players to do more, particularly the likes of Akpom and Gnabry, who do at least appear to have the physical build to hold their own in a battle, as long a they are not over-used, allowing for their age and endurance strength which is still to come, then they can share the effort up front to give Giro a break. the likes of Eisfeld too should be ready for longer stints, either from the bench or as an hour long starter. But unfortunately, this will depend on us using Ozil in a lot of these games?

    The DM issues are another area where over-use is a byword for ‘if you can walk you play’ with some? I have repeatedly said Ramsey is a case in point, followed closely by JW. Now we have to see how many games Flam can put in, with his more confrontational style? Arteta returning for his stint of over-use looks inevitable too? We clearly expected too much too soon for Frimpong, but if a slowly slowly build up to doing the odd 20 minutes that will help too? Hayden would also benefit for a similar place, preferably alongside the likes of Arteta/Flamini in the DM area, and so gaining confidence in his own skills, before moving back to the more exacting role of CB. The latter needing the likes of Per to guide as he gets experience, but I have faith in him eventually making it at the top CB/DM level down the line.

    It is these 20-30 minutes slots from all these academy players, including Ryo, and probably Zelalem and Sanogo in time, as well as the Ox when he is back, that will get us through this tough period of games if we are to hope that the top players are going to be able to get through the big games later. Now whether AW gambles on earlier substitutions remains to be seen. The bigger gamble might be not using them?

  34. Gerry says:

    THMT – Thank you for your final sentence … I gritted my teeth and thought I best not go there 🙄 😀

  35. Gerry says:

    Fozzie – You don’t have to worry about glic. He will be fine, one the penny(or should that be tuppence?) drops.

    I heard Dr Glic being quizzed on ‘Hard Talk, appropriately, in the early hours the other morning, and it went like this:

    ‘Dr Glic, Would you agree that the definition of a pre-pubescent teenager is best described as someone who has a phallic obsession, a constant reference to sexual fantasy, brought about by the lack of real sexual experience, and so refers to sexual deviancy committed by himself or others, and so helps satisfy his need to compete on equal terms … because he can only picture these people in this fantasy creation, as the normal expression would lead him to compare his physical attributes, and so lead to a sense of inadequacy. Further details were leaked by a famous tattooist in a tabloid revelation, that his attempt with one such teenager, he had a four letter word to inscribe on his appendage, but limited space meant it just read OZ\ …
    I would love to hear what you think Dr Glic, but sadly we have run out of time. …’

    So there you have, get past puberty and he’ll be fine …:D

    Now just let me check just how far the border with Cornwall is …Yikes!! I’ve got to go.

  36. Fozzie B says:

    Time for a JB Hahahahahahahahha …. @ Gerry 😆

    That’s precious …. so precious … I guess Dr Glic can always blame the asthma which gives him that sexy mutley laugh that all the lesbanians and trannys love!! 😀

    Of your young guns, its Gnabry I’m most looking forward to getting game time, and then Zelalem , Eisfield and Apkom.

    Be careful Gerry, Glic is in his van now heading to your border with a couple of strapping trannies in the back read to haul you off to his tranny annex dungeon where he has a few of the BK Banditos on lock down, watching re-runs of the tranny soaps … “To the Man-or Porn” , “Hogan’s heroines” and “Salty Towers” hahaha…..

    :lol

  37. James Bond says:

    nice one, JGC – thank you for taking the time out in explaining everything as much as you could.

    i’m from the older school of thought when it comes to training regimes .

    did we have as many injuries back in the day due to basic training methods and techniques or have they actually increased more and more over the years ?

    i have always been a fan of doing the basics right and not overly complicating things – keeping it simple is the way to go.

    for instance, you take cricket as an example, you see all the fast bowlers warming up before a match, spending 2 hours in the nets and then boom, you have to play the game, so by the time you’re bowling, you end up out of steam sooner rather than later and then voila – point being, some of these fitness coaches and people involved, only overly complicate things on purpose ? course i’m not saying that you JGC do it on purpose 😀 it’s all speculation on my part, in the same way i reckon no one will be buying or investing in anti-virus softwares, if there were no virus created (again, i’m not hinting at that these big corporations create viruses and spread them either 😉 😉 😉 not directly anyway.

    you said it best at the end – if everyone knew the cause or what works best then there wouldn’t be need for so many people behind the scenes monitoring and working on player fitness regimes.

    although, i do believe that by keeping things simple and doing the basics right, you can actually reap a lot of rewards for the longer term for e.g. eat well, eat right, sleep well, don’t over do gym work, build up your stamina gradually – cold /ice baths after matches – voila

    course most of you may think that i’m talking bollo”£$”£L”£LL”$££” maybe i am and that’s why i’m a secret agent but hey, all i know is that i know nothing – but i still reckon all this science and innovation was meant to be helping not making things complicated.

    these are the same players, who played 7 days a week before becoming pros or internationals , yet, soon as you become a pro – you suddenly got to do things in a certain way, playing in 2 games per week becomes a problem and all that.

    talking about thin squads and not having enough quality players as back up is all irrelevant in this particular article in my humble opinion.

  38. James Bond says:

    no no no, no FB no, it’s not like that… you do it like this

    “ahahahahahahahahahahah” 🙂

    good news re- injuries,

    we only lose Rosicky and not Theo as i feared, course it’s not great news but hey, this means we can have Eisfield on the bench ?

    we are relatively full strength now or very close to it, given the numbers as Poldi/Ox/Rosicky/Diaby were not seen to be regular 1st team starters anyway.

    i feared for Theo and am chuffed he will be able to start , the knock he took was nasty on tuesday but i think the thought of being at the end of many OoooooooooooOOOoZil passes helped immensely in softening the pain 😉 don’t blame him –

    hopefully Rosicky , TV and Arteta will all be back for West Brom, we will need all 3 for that one i reckon.

  39. Fozzie B says:

    ahahahahahahahaha ….. that better JB??
    So looking forward to the oooooOOooooozil factor on Sunday ..
    This time last season went right off the ball … hopefully the Ozil factor will give us that
    extra edge and buzz to keep winning!!! 😀

  40. Fozzie B says:

    Doh Saturday!! 😀

  41. James Bond says:

    nailed it @ FB 🙂

  42. geoffchase says:

    Terry

    Good points! I actually used to be a rocket scientist, and even that isnt rocket science… 🙂

    cheers — jgc

  43. geoffchase says:

    Gerry

    a. horse placenta… yikes… I’d rather have Glic manage my training regime. I imagine every time he says “horse placenta” two things happen. Someones ego grows; and they subsequently cash in on people coming to them for the same magic RvJ uses… blech.. I am not a believer

    b. Well rotation of younger ones is one way annd those 10-30 mins is valuable to them and the player subbed. The question is does it cost the team? When you are at the limit and need to compete.. This is why the big boys get the big bucks! But, yes, we could do more… and likely will this year..

    c. Interestingly, per the above, one RM late slam was Ozil never lasted more than 70-80 mins. But, then, in La Liga they were already well home by then often so why not do exactly the point you made above! 🙂 … See it is in front of our eyes most likley!

    d. As you note, it is all a bit of a well educated guess. When it works you are a genius for the ages, and when it doesnt the BK lines light up with helpful criticism… 🙂

    e. And I am very hopeful about JW who hasnt met a hard tackle he doesnt seem to feel personally like he has to confront to show he’s not a small man. Quick route to an early grave IMO, especially when Orcs are in town soon.. Hopefully the rotation willl get him into a longer term top form and he will learn and reach his peak by watching Ozil who is a master of winning and not simultaneously losing. I think JW is good at number 1 but not number 2 if you get my drift..

    cheers — jgc

  44. geoffchase says:

    JB

    In response:

    a. IMO, the game is far faster, longer than “in the day” we might both know… Thus, more injuries. We also play more games in shorter rest periods, which is huge.. All this adds up..

    B. Ah, the basics, Effort + Recovery.. Actually, I agree, really, I think there is more horse placenta and other fads out there that really gets it wrong. IMO, most teams do the basics well, they are criticised by those with something “special” so they can sell themselves, not because they can prove it is better. As I have noted in some comments I think injuries per game or per minute played per week are down. But, games and minutes per week are way up! hence, it appears like more injuries..

    C. Warmup like recovery is an inexact science. A nice long work in with some efforts, but lots of ease is good mentally and physically. IF IT WORKS FOR YOU.

    If anything is lost these days, IMO, its that young players receive huge advice and are told do x, y, z and q.. but never allowed with all these other people to find their own optimal way.

    Equally, if they arent good immediately anymore, they arent on the squad so following the rules is a must for them.. IMO, a young player has it hard these days and likely has to get lucky in finding something that works for them and the team as some of these coaches thus determine selection in a rather perverse way.

    D. I suspect the science is goood but contradictory .. in my field and science in general you will always find people selling the half full part of the pint and forgetting to mention the other half pint! Thus, over sold and under delivered in a field with little ability to “prove” things fully and a buyer (clubs, players, placenta placers if they exist) who are desperate to try anythhing for that extra edge in their own marketplace.

    Desperation tends to breed stupidity so…

    E. yes, but those games didnnt have the intensity. Effectively, there is a total load you can take and recover from in however it is delivered. Thus, work a bit, rest a bit works day in/out. Go all out, truly, for a few minutes over a few efforts, and rest for a week works only if you are a sprint cyclist. But, it works. The trick is knowing your domain!

    Hope the added mud helps your clarity! 🙂

    cheers — jgc

  45. Fozzie B says:

    Hi JGC … yes Glic has a fantastic training routine for trannys …. which works well for footballers …. …. but without the drag ….. :lol

    Going to be great for JW and Zelalem to work side by side with Ozil ozil ozil .. oi oi oi …

    We are setting ourselves up nicely for next 10 years of world domination in the
    CAM role!!!

    That’s what a lot of people might not take into consideration with Ozil, not just just his immediate impact but the long term as well.

    Bring in a SQ DM like Lars Bender for that role and another SQ striker to mentor Apkom and Sanogo … oh yeah baby …. and we are looking very good indeed, but I think the Ozil CAM sigining was pivotal and what a foundation to build off!

    😀

  46. James Bond says:

    JGC,

    since you make it sound so complicated with such simplicity – you’re HIRED

    ahahahahahahahhaahaha

    did Wee-D say that Stoke/UTD/City were technically superior than our players ?

    i’m speechless.

  47. James Bond says:

    Dylan,

    there is no need to be sorry, school and real life must always take preference – you do your bit by posting and writing fantastic articles, when you can , we often end up going on our own regardless – there is no need to feel bad about it really 🙂 as i for one, really enjoy and appreciate your write-ups even if you struggle to keep up with the follow ups.

    no worries.

    2 more days until we get to see OoooooooooooooooooOOOooooZil bamboozle sunderland along with Santi and Theo !!!

  48. James Bond says:

    also, it will be interesting to see the percentage of injuries in 2 age groups :

    under 24’s

    and over 24’s

    are younger players (under 24) more prone to injuries or at risk as opposed to the older much more experienced ones ? i would certainly like to think so .

    AFC,

    no, i disagree, i doubt if all clubs follow the same fitness protocol’s or fitness regimes, if everyone was basically doing the same then what would be the fun in that ? why would people like Di Canio come in with their drastic changes and start slating poor fitness levels openly ?

    it’s like every coach and manager, you may have the same basics but you bring in your own methods (unique skills and insights) to the table, otherwise it all gets one dimensional.

  49. Gerry says:

    Thanks for reminding me JB.

    Dylan – I am very pleased you are getting your priorities right. Football is for the weekend, okay?

    Mind, i should make Friday evening(your time) to do the FFL stuff, as you’ll miss the deadline by the time you wake on Saturday 🙂 But do the UMF earlier. VCC has a big enough lead with out giving him free penalty kicks, eh?

    Keep smiling at the Ozil factor and the time will whizz by between matches … err, that a lie really. I’ll drag like crazy, but i’ll be worth th wait.

  50. Gerry says:

    Yes Geoff, you’d think they would use horse placenta on horses first, wouldn’t you?

  51. geoffchase says:

    Gerry

    Actually, the horses DO use it first and are smart enuff to avoid re-use!

    — jgc

  52. geoffchase says:

    JB

    JB, siiigh, it’s all about the metrics mate!!

    Thus, IMO Stoke are better technically! If you consider “trajectory intersection positioning” which certainly sounds technical and cool enough to be important… Until you realise others call it clattering into players at speed.. Which, you MUST admit, they ARE quite superior to us in! 😀

    Per your last.. I’d say its by position…

    Mids: more in under 24s

    Defenders: more in over 24s

    Mobility vs clattering basically!

    Cheers — jgc

  53. geoffchase says:

    Dylan

    Keep priorities straight! 🙂

    Signed Professor JGC

  54. James Bond says:

    exactly @ JGC

    my bad, i didn’t realize he meant them being better “Technically and Tactically” at playing rugby ; )

  55. Glic says:

    Evening Peepholing pervascopes 😆

    First let me say….Dylan, fcuk all that cheerleader stuff, to much..ra ra ra !. Plus it doesn`t go down too well with the jocks and they will break you into miniscule pieces !. Change of tactics….you need to be like our Broke Back Kiwi Brethren and stand in front of the jocks and do the Cock Haka !. If this fails, send me the hospital address and I will send some flowers !. hahaha

    Prof` Geoffers….I hope you don’t mind me calling you that as Professor Geoff sounds a bit letchie !…..It gives me an image of a dribbling raincoated, thick spectacled old man with a comb over !……………..I can just imagine a student saying…….” Oh Professor Geoff….unclip and remove my peephole bra, that’s good…..now gently remove my stockings and suspenders…..that’s better……..and the next time I catch you wearing my clothes I will report you to the Head of faculty !. hahaha

    A fantastic post and who am I ( just a van driver actually ! hahaha ) to question our BK Head of Fcukulty. I could phone my daughter, who is a Bachelor of Science for Sport Science ( hope that’s how you say it . ), but she will probably say much the same . (and can she have her clothes back !)
    With so permutations and combinations of body type/forms, size, bone structure, sleep, recovery, DNA and anything else into the melting pot etc`….basically we are all different, everyone possibly needs a tailor made programme to suit their needs. Even though Sports Science has come on leaps and bounds there is probably a lot more to come. After tests of growing an ear on a mouse, our own HH has put himself up as a guinea pig for medical science by having a Giroud cock growing in his rectum as he cant see what al the fuss is about !. hahahaha
    The only limit is our imagination !.

  56. geoffchase says:

    Glic

    Your imagination is limitless!! 🙂

    And, so that was umm your daughter?!? 😛

    Cheers — jgc

  57. Gerry says:

    TA – I’ve just had a little idea that might appeal? Especially if you were doing the match review …

    How about all your blog writers just sending in a short piece to you for the early blog Sunday, entitled ‘The Impact of Ozil’. Sort them in order of appearance, with each saying how they thought Ozil fitted in, without referencing too much about the game?

    That way, you have the rest of Sunday to formulate your thoughts for the blog overnight for Monday.

    I only suggest it this way, as I am sure most would like to mark the historic moment, and if it is a blog spot it is there for posterity? And of course, you get the honour of the match write up?

  58. Gerry says:

    I have just had a view of how other clubs fare regards injuries for the weekend.
    If I get it right, the link will magically appear below:
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1771501-premier-league-injury-news-fantasy-impact?

    Well a c&p version anyway?

    Poor old Crystal Palace have 7 players out. Mostly knocks though – impact injuries. Even our opponents have some key players out – But as he bough a whole new team in the TW, I guess they will not be too worried?

  59. James Bond says:

    i’m dedicating this one to Glics :

    http://www.havespursscoredfromopenplayyet.com/

  60. Gerry says:

    Looking at the list, I would say Ankle/foot tops it, followed by Groin/pelvic and Thigh/hip with the much talked of hamstring coming in fourth?

    Any thoughts Prof G?

    TV5’s Stress fracture is not mentioned as such.

  61. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening guys and Glic 😛

  62. Gerry says:

    Well before glic sees what his alter ego has said, I’m off for an evening with the tv.

    Remember, today is -1 bo … and tomorow will be the last in the bo era.

    Saturday September 14th is OZIL Day!

  63. TotalArsenal says:

    Geoff the Gooner 🙂 – very fine post and some great comments today. It is an important topic to talk about as so many of us have views on what Arsenal should do different, but it is clearly a complex issue and it’s been good to have yours, and a few others, expert views to enlighten us today.

    cheers ta 😉

  64. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 🙂

    The site is one year old tomorrow and my longest and best blog friend Red Arse has been so kind to write a post to celebrate the occasion. 🙂

  65. Glic says:

    I see what you said Gerry !. Being a lover of all things pisstaking I luv it !. but don’t be surprised to wake up in the morning with a pair of bollocks as eye lids, yes they could be the dogs bollocks but that will be a matter of opinion and of course to tie in with Prof` Geoffers superb post…. it`s all in the name of sports science…now where`s my chloroform, rusty pliers and Arsene cock puppet strappon !. hahaha

    Thanks Totes…..you always make me feel like the special one by identifying me separately !. hahaha

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